Use a Security Application
This can be in the form of an antivirus, anti-malware, or firewall application. These applications come in both free and paid versions. This can be a confusing process but by looking at reviews and comparing these tools to find the right one for your specific needs. Some companies will even include all of these tools in one standalone application.
Don’t Click on Just Anything
Be cognizant of what it is that you are trying to access online. Many of the attacks we see and hear about in the news started off with someone clicking on a link they thought was legit but was in reality a malicious link or email attachment that unknowingly installed software.
Learning what the tell-tale signs of phishing sites and malicious URL’s is a very valuable skill for every online user to have. Instead of immediately clicking on the link, ask yourself, “Am I expecting this email from so-and-so? Did I sign up for this?”. Another trick we call can do is to hover over the link (not clicking it) and see if the URL is taking you to a legit website, or if the URL is a confusingly long and obfuscated, seemingly random string of characters; if so then you can probably guess that it is not something you want to click on.
Also, to cover our previous point of using security applications, there are some anti-malware and applications that offer real-time scanning and browser protection that warns or advises users that the link or website they are attempting to visit may contain malicious content. These tools can further protect you from downloading ransomware, adware, or trojan horses from infecting your device.
The Password is Strong with This One
123456, password, iloveyou
Recognize any of those? If so then they may just be one of your passwords, and if they are then you may want to check and see if you’ve been pwnded. Not all hackers are like the ones you see in the movies, they don’t’ all wear black hoodies, slam back energy drinks, or listen to techno music while they take down the Gibson. However, all hackers LOVE easy to guess passwords! One of the most common entry points for cyber-attacks is a weak password that you are using to try and secure your online account.
Here is a short list of the 30 most commonly used passwords of 2020
Using one password decently strong for every account is a dangerous game to play with your online security, using one weak password for your accounts, you may as well just leave the door wide open. Point of this? Use strong passwords! Strong passwords can be difficult to remember, sure. However, there are smart people who have thought of this already and offer solutions for us. Password managers like LastPass and BitWarden both offer free and premium solutions for not only generating extremely strong passwords, but storing them for you as well, better yet, they even offer plugins that will auto-inject these passwords into your online accounts so you don’t have to copy and paste them yourself. Another, easier to remember solution is to use passphrases instead of passwords. Using multiple words strung together to create a phrase adds variation to the password, this way you can still remember multiple passwords easily and are still getting strong passwords that protects your accounts.